Joseph Kosinski of ‘Tron: Legacy’ fame directed the action-drama movie ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ promising to live up to its predecessor. However, in its emotional and boastful journey, the sequel of the 1986 movie of the same even surpasses the original. Tom Cruise returns as test pilot Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who dodges a higher position after thirty-six years of service.
With ten fresh Top Gun graduates, Maverick plunges himself into a burgeoning international conspiracy. Most of the movie unfolds on air and naval bases, lending authenticity to the storyline. However, you may wonder where the movie was filmed. In that case, allow us to take you to the locations that feature in the film.
Top Gun: Maverick Filming Locations
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ was filmed in locations in different parts of the USA, especially in the states of Nevada, California, and Washington. Principal photography reportedly commenced in May 2018, coming under wrap by July 2019. Claudio Miranda came on board as the director of photography. He is known for his works on ‘Life of Pi‘ and ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’ On the other hand, Jeremy Hindle of ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘ fame joined the team as the production designer. Let us now take you to the specific locations where the movie was shot.
Pershing County, Nevada
Some filming took place in Nevada, specifically at the Fallon Range Training Complex. It is a military area near Mount Helen with dedicated training ranges and an integrated air defense mechanism. Specifically, scenes were filmed near target Bravo 20, north of NAS Fallon at Lone Rock in the Carson Sink playa. Therefore, while you may visit some of the locations, some areas remain off-limits to the public. The crew visited Pershing County, especially a military site near the county seat of Lovelock.
Los Angeles, California
Some filming took place in the City of Angels, a vast modern metropolis in Los Angeles County. The crew seemingly visited a studio located in the city to record some sequences, possibly the Paramount Pictures Studio, at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. One of the oldest filming studios in the world is the only filming facility among the “Big Five” that is situated within the city. Apart from showcasing a confluence of cultures, Los Angeles is home to one of the global centers of cinematic productions.
Kern County, California
In their sprawling filming schedule, the cast and crew headed to Kern County, where they filmed scenes in another restricted military location near the city of Ridgecrest. Scenes were filmed at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, a naval weapons station focused on research and evaluation programs. The weapons station is located at 1 Administrative Circle in Ridgecrest and features a fire department.
El Dorado County, California
The mountainous terrains that feature in the movie showcase the untapped natural splendor of El Dorado County. The cast and crew also charted the El Dorado National Forest for the location where they stage the mountain aircraft. Moreover, the river canyons of the South Fork of the American River can be seen in a few segments of the film. Additionally, South Lake Tahoe, a resort city by the side of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges, serves as the production site for a few pivotal scenes.
A central filming location visited by the crew in the area was the Lake Tahoe Airport. The public airport is located at 1901 Airport Road Suite 100, three miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe. The airport stands in for the remote military airstrip in the movie. The crew collaborated with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to take utmost care of the natural habitat where they were filming. They also headed to the Sierra District State Parks to film more scenes.
San Diego County, California
In addition, the crew visited the San Diego county, where they lensed scenes in San Diego, the county seat and the second-most populous city in the state. The team set up a shoot in the North Island Naval Air Station, an air station located at the north end of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay. The early sun-soaked scenes depicting the return of Maverick were filmed in this location. In fact, civilians can visit the station if they happen to be in the city during Fleet Week, an old San Diego tradition complete with a sea and an air parade.
Moreover, the production team lensed segments in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a federal military cemetery located at 1700 Cabrillo Memorial Drive in San Diego. The iconic beach football scene was filmed in Breakers Beach, a serene private military beach in the North Island neighborhood, not far from the Naval Air Station. Moreover, Breakers Beach stands in for the fictional bar called The Hard Deck.
Yakima County, Washington State
Some filming also took place in Yakima County in Washington State. The county is named after the Yakama tribe of Native Americans. While in the county, the crew taped scenes in Rimrock Lake, a vast 10.8 square kilometers lake along the Tieton River. Tucked away in Wenatchee National Forest, the lake is open for fishing in all seasons.
Read More: Where Was Top Gun (1986) Filmed?